USC moved the ball well but had to settle for a field goal during its opening series.
Matt Boermeester kicked a 37-yard field goal, and the Trojans lead Notre Dame, 3-0, with 10:22 remaining in the first quarter. The scoring drive took 11 plays and covered 61 yards in 4:38.
Sam Darnold completed five of six passes for 45 yards. His only incomplete pass came on third down, which forced the field-goal attempt.